Ride guitarist and songwriter Andy Bell has released Untitled Film Stills, the third and final instalment in his series of three EPs. It is out now on all digital platforms and limited-edition 10” vinyl.
Untitled Film Stills is made up of four cover versions of songs that inspired Andy’s acclaimed second solo album, Flicker, or as he puts it, “helped in some way to colour in the edges of the picture”.
It features songs by Yoko Ono, The Kinks, Arthur Russell and Pentangle, all recorded by Andy and mastered by Heba Kadry.
Andy has just shared a festive video for the version of Yoko Ono’s ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’ (originally the B-side of Ono and John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ and famously covered by Galaxie 500, among others). It was filmed and directed by Chris Tomsett / Innerstrings and features Andy busking outside Lo-Fi Coffee in Crouch End, North London, last week – Watch below.
Here, Andy talks us through the four songs that make up the Untitled Film Stills EP:
“The Flicker song ‘Jenny Holzer B. Goode’ refers to a few of the female artists from the music and art worlds who I find inspiring – along with Jenny Holzer; others include Laurie Anderson, Yayoi Kusama, Elizabeth Fraser, Cindy Sherman and Yoko Ono. So, it felt right to cover ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’, my favourite Yoko song.
“After doing a series of EPs we called Ever Decreasing Circles last year, here’s this year’s retro TV reference – ‘Light Flight’, the theme tune from ’60s drama series Take Three Girls which was performed originally by Pentangle. Although I never knew about the TV show until recently, I’ve loved this track ever since I heard it on the 1997 folk compilation Transatlantic Ticket.
“Nat Cramp, head honcho of Sonic Cathedral, requested a cover of ‘The Way Love Used To Be’ and, as he gave me the puppy dog eyes, naturally I couldn’t refuse. I’d never heard this song despite being a big fan of The Kinks and owning the album it’s from (Percy), but it’s lovely and it felt very natural to cover it. All hail Ray Davies!
“Arthur Russell has been a big reference point for all my music away from ‘band world’. There is something impressionistic and open-ended about his records, and he was also unafraid of trying different styles, which I’ve found really inspirational. And there’s the fact that he worked alone, which is something I’ve got used to. You could describe the production style on my version of ‘Our Last Night Together’ as ‘World Of Echo meets This Mortal Coil doing Skip Spence’.”
Untitled Film Stills follows I Am A Strange Loop (collecting remixes of songs from Flicker by David Holmes, Maps, Richard Norris, bdrmm, A Place To Bury Strangers and Claude Cooper) and The Grounding Process (stripped-down acoustic versions). All three EPs are now also out on limited-edition 10” vinyl as well as digital.
INTERVIEW: Ride guitarist and songwriter Andy Bell on his series of EPs & second solo album, Flicker – LISTEN HERE.